Prepare to embark on a Tour de France like no other. In this intimate portrait of his homeland, proud patriot and award-winning author Denis Tillinac offers intriguing insight into the making of modern France and what it means to be French. An eclectic selection of entries inspired by some of France’s proudest traditions and most famous exports make for a uniquely personal love letter to a country renowned the world over for its extraordinary culture, history, and landscape. From its rustic fishing villages in Brittany to its glamorous Riviera beaches, and from stunning Alpine vistas to the chic bistros of Paris, Denis Tillinac takes the reader on a journey through this extraordinary country. Along the way, he paints vivid portraits of France’s rich past, including an introduction to Henri IV, the origins of champagne, and the development of the high-speed train (TGV) network. From Saint-Exupéry to the infamous Napoleon Bonaparte, and from La Fontaine’s fables to the early feminist Joan of Arc, this book provides an insider’s tour of the Hexagon. Discover the soul of France through its cultural legacy: the UNESCO-protected French gastronomy, the Bayeux Tapestry, zinc bar countertops, the Tour de France, the Seine, Édith Piaf, or the perfect baguette. Photographs of iconic sights-from Notre Dame, Monet’s Water Lilies, and the Place des Vosges to vineyards in Burgundy, a beach on the Riviera, and the châteaux of the Loire Valley-make this book the ideal Francophile gift.